Comment by dreeves on Being the (Pareto) Best in the World · 2019-06-25T07:28:17.376Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Nice! I've heard a similar idea called a "talent stack" or "skill stack" but explaining it in terms of staking out a chunk of the Pareto frontier is much better.

Coincidentally, I just wrote a post explaining the idea of Pareto dominance -- http://blog.beeminder.com/pareto -- in case that's useful to anyone.

Comment by dreeves on Calibrate your self-assessments · 2017-05-30T22:38:20.982Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Now resurrected!

Comment by dreeves on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-02-13T22:50:54.614Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you! See above ("Better to not have people feel like their desperation is being capitalized on.") for my response to your first question. And we actually believe that our system is, in practice if not in theory, strategy-proof. It's explicitly ok to game the system to our hearts' delight. It seems to be quite robust to that. Our utilities tend to either be uncannily well-matched, in which case it's kind of a coin flip who wins, or they're wildly different, but we never seem to have enough certainty about how different they'll be for it to be fruitful to distort our bids much.

The strategy of "just say a number such that you're torn about whether you'd rather win or lose" seems to be close enough to optimal.

Comment by dreeves on White Lies · 2014-02-12T08:16:34.978Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

How about adding a tiny bit of ambiguity (or evasion of the direct question) and making up for it with more effusiveness, eg, "it's not only my job but it feels really good to know that I'm helping you so I really want you to bug me about even trivial-seeming things!" All true and all she's omitting is her immediate annoyance but that is truly secondary, as she points out below about first-order vs second-order desires.

Comment by dreeves on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-02-01T06:09:15.338Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, we're super keen to make sure the efficient thing happens regardless of the initial distribution of resources/responsibilities/property-rights/etc. And we use yootling as a bargaining mechanism to make that happen. In general we're always willing to shove work to each other or redistribute resources as efficiency dictates, using payments to make that always be fair.

Comment by dreeves on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-02-01T06:03:57.335Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In practice the sealed-bid version seems to be ungameable, at least for us! None of the problems you mentioned have arisen. My parents have tried this and had more problems but as far as I could tell it always involved contention about what to consider to be joint 50/50 decisions. Bethany and I seem to have no problem with that, using the heuristic of "when in doubt, just call it a 50/50 decision and yootle for it".

Comment by dreeves on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-02-01T05:37:36.081Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Fixed and fixed. Thank you!

Comment by dreeves on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-01-23T00:02:04.706Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'm impressed! That's kind of the conclusion we gradually came to as well, after a lot of trial and error. Better to not have people feel like their desperation is being capitalized on.

Another way to put it: when you're really desperate to win a particular auction it's really nice to be able to just say so honestly, with a crazy high bid. Trying to allocate the surplus equitably means that I have to carefully strategize on understating my desperation. (And worst of all, a mistake means a highly inefficient outcome!)

PS: To be clear about first-price vs second-price, it's technically neither since there's no distinct seller.

Here's the n-player, arbitrary shares version:

Each participant starts with some share of the decision. Everyone submits a sealed bid, the second-highest of which is taken to be the Fair Market Price (FMP). The high bidder wins, and buys out everyone else's shares, ie, pays them the appropriate fraction of the FMP.

"Even yootling", or just "yootling", refers to the special case of two players and 50/50 shares. In that case, instead of bidding a fair market price (FMP), you say how much you're willing to pay if you win. True FMP is twice that, since you only have to pay half of FMP with even yootling. So instead of deciding what you'd pay, doubling it to get FMP, then halving FMP to get the actual payment, we short circuit that and you just say the payment as your bid. For yootling with uneven shares it's easier to bid FMP and then pay the appropriate fraction of that.

Comment by dreeves on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-01-22T19:11:20.277Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Bethany and I philosophically bite the bullet on this, which is basically to just agree with your second point: the wealthy person gets their way all the time and the poor person gets what's to them a lot of money and everyone is happy.

If that's unpalatable or feels unfair then I think the principled solution is for the wealthy person to simply redress the unfairness with a lump sum payment to redistribute the wealth.

I don't think it's reasonable -- ignoring all the psychology and social intricacies, as I'm wont to do [1] -- to object both to auctions with disparate wealth and to lump sum redistribution to achieve fairness.

Now that I'm introspecting, I suppose it's the case that Bethany and I tend to seize excuses to redistribute wealth, but they have to be plausible ones.

Comment by dreeves on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-01-22T18:53:56.798Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

You're right that it's similar to a Vickrey auction in that the 2nd highest bid (in the 2-player case) is used as the price, but it's different in that there's no 3rd-party seller. The good is jointly owned and the payment will go from one player to the other. In particular, yootling is not strictly incentive compatible like Vickrey is (though in practice it seems to be close enough).

Thanks for the pointer to Landsburg! Looks like he worked out a way (by enlisting another economist couple) to have meaningful auctions despite having joint money with his spouse. I predict that system didn't hold together though. I should email him!

Comment by dreeves on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-01-22T07:27:46.474Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Specifically, here's the little add-on for Loqi that conducts auctions: https://github.com/aaronpk/zenircbot-bid

Comment by dreeves on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-01-22T07:25:00.195Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Agreed, we just haven't gotten to that yet. The auctioneer chatroom bot is pretty new.

Comment by dreeves on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-01-22T07:23:20.035Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Upvoted for the delightfully flattering implication for my and Bethany's relationship. :)

But, yes, a prerequisite is that everyone think like an economist, where everything you care about can be assigned a dollar value.

See also the core assumptions at the top of Bethany's article [http://messymatters.com/autonomy].

Comment by dreeves on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-01-22T07:18:13.946Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

We have a protocol for deciding when to yootle: if the possibility of yootling is so much as mentioned then we must yootle. The only fair way to object to yootling is to dispute that it's a 50/50 decision. If it is a fundamentally joint decision then how would you object? "I want to get my way but not pay anything"? Not so nice. You could say "I don't want to yootle, I'll just do it your way". But that's equivalent to bidding 0, so might as well go through with the yootling. And after 9 years we do have quite efficient ways to conduct these auctions, with fingers or our phones or out loud.

Comment by dreeves on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-01-22T06:56:15.788Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Great question, and upon reflection (I actually looked this up in my PhD dissertation just now!) I agree. I actually can't remember the last time Bethany and I used a joint purchase auction. For some reason it never comes up -- we just each buy things and don't worry about joint ownership. If we did disagree about whether to buy a household item we'd probably just straight up yootle for whether to buy it (with the cost split 50/50 if we did).

Comment by dreeves on Group Rationality Diary, December 16-31 · 2013-12-17T07:15:02.051Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Holy cow, thank you so much for this. Speaking of WTF reactions, I hope that won't be how this is perceived. Yours is a perfect example of both the insidiousness and the genius of Beeminder's exponential pledge schedule.

The fact that there's no doubt in your mind that you got more value out of Beeminder than the $130some dollars you paid is I hope evidence that it's more genius than insidiousness. :)

Yours is a textbook case of using Beeminder exactly as intended, to ride the pledge schedule up to the point where the amount of money at risk scares you into never actually paying it. For some people paying even the first $5 is sufficiently aversive. Others go all the way to $810, which has been, almost universally, sufficient to keep people toeing the line. (Ie, only one person has ever actually defaulted with $810 at stake.)

Some people (Katja Grace is an example) prefer to cap the amount at risk and are happy to pay a small fee occasionally. That has the danger of being more expensive in the long term as each particular derailment isn't a big deal and you can keep delusionally being like "ok, but this time for real!". Mostly, though, I think it depends on the severity of the akrasia for the specific thing you're beeminding.

Comment by dreeves on Group Rationality Diary, October 1-15, plus frequency poll · 2013-10-08T23:21:35.902Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I very much agree with the parenthetical about pushups. I beemind 30 pushups per day -- http://beeminder.com/d/push -- with the idea that I'll gradually ramp that up as my max reps increases. Except I'm failing to ever do that and have been at 30/day forever. If I cared more I'd ramp it up though. Right now I'm just happy to be forced to maintain some semblance of baseline upper-body strength.

The general point: beemind inputs, not outputs. Ie, things you have total control over.

PS: The Beeminder android app has a pushup counter built in, where you put your phone on the floor and touch your nose to it on each pushup and it tallies them for you.

Comment by dreeves on Rationality, competitiveness and akrasia · 2013-10-03T06:31:11.750Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Pomodoros is a great metric. Katja Grace makes the case for that here: http://www.overcomingbias.com/2012/08/on-the-goodness-of-beeminder.html (she just calls them blocks of time).

I think raw number of hours is a fine metric too though. Discretizing into pomodoros has both advantages and disadvantages.

If you can quantify actual output, that might be ideal. Like how we track User-Visible Improvements to Beeminder. You might expect that to be too fuzzy a metric but we found a criterion that's been rock solid for years now: If we're willing to publicly tweet it then it counts. Pride prevents us from ever getting too weaselly about it.

Comment by dreeves on Open thread, August 19-25, 2013 · 2013-09-23T01:37:26.029Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Very fair point! Just like with Beeminder, if you're lucky enough to simply not suffer from akrasia then all the craziness with commitment devices is entirely superfluous. I liken it to literal myopia. If you don't have the problem then more power to you. If you do then apply the requisite technology to fix it (glasses, commitment devices, decision auctions).

But actually I think decision auctions are different. There's no such thing as not having the problem they solve. Preferences will conflict sometimes. Just that normal people have perfectly adequate approximations (turn taking, feeling each other out, informal mental point systems, barter) to what we've formalized and nerded up with our decision auctions.

Comment by dreeves on Post ridiculous munchkin ideas! · 2013-05-20T18:21:40.616Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

See also the digit-sound method: http://www.decisionsciencenews.com/2012/01/06/how-to-remember-numbers/

(I have the vague intention to create a handy tool based on that, which I'd call digimaphone: http://digimaphone.com )

Comment by dreeves on Post ridiculous munchkin ideas! · 2013-05-20T16:43:36.326Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Too funny; those are the middle names of my kids! :)

Comment by dreeves on Why is it rational to invest in retirement? I don't get it. · 2013-05-20T15:40:55.308Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I wrote an article with a smilar conclusion: http://messymatters.com/savings

It includes this caricature of traditional financial advice: "You want to stop working when you’re 60ish, right? And you don’t want to be dirt poor at that point, right? So here’s what you do: live as if you’re dirt poor from now till you’re 60. Problem solved."

Comment by dreeves on Programming the LW Study Hall · 2013-03-15T00:50:04.545Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Gah! :) I did not think of that! Kind of like how I did not think of how much "beeminder" looks like "beerminder".

Comment by dreeves on Programming the LW Study Hall · 2013-03-14T23:22:47.605Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · LW · GW

I have a donation to the cause: the domain "pomochat.com". (I owe the LessWrong community bigtime -- I don't think Beeminder would've gotten off the ground without it!)

I bequeath the domain with no strings attached. I can transfer ownership of the domain or just point it at wherever folks suggest. Assuming of course that no one comes up with a better domain!

Comment by dreeves on MetaMed: Evidence-Based Healthcare · 2013-03-07T21:09:34.717Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting question! Since it's an especially interesting question for those not fully in the in-crowd I thought it might be worth rephrasing in less technical language:

Is MetaMed comprised of LessWrong folks or significantly influenced by LessWrong folks, or that style of thinking? If so, this sounds like a great test of the real-world efficacy of LessWrong ideas. In other words, if MetaMed succeeds that's some powerful evidence that this rationality shit works! (And to be intellectually honest we have to also precommit to admitting that -- should MetaMed fail -- it's evidence that it doesn't.)

PS: Since Michael Vassar is involved it's safe to say the answer to the first part is yes!

Comment by dreeves on Co-Working Collaboration to Combat Akrasia · 2013-03-07T18:12:22.884Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Shannon, this sounds really valuable! Thanks to you and Mqrius for kicking this off.

I just wanted to mention that if there's demand for more social features in Beeminder, we're definitely listening. (Outsiders often tell us we should have more social features but LessWrong (and similar communities like Quantified Self) are our bread and butter so if we hear it here we'll pay more attention.)

Comment by dreeves on Nov 16-18: Rationality for Entrepreneurs · 2012-11-11T09:15:29.618Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks so much, Robert!

And breaking news: I'm now part of the program!

(I'm really excited about this!)

Comment by dreeves on Nov 16-18: Rationality for Entrepreneurs · 2012-11-10T08:00:01.124Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Would you be interested in a session on anti-akrasia techniques for entrepreneurs? As the co-founder of Beeminder the danger would be that it would come off as a Beeminder infomercial. On the other hand, OMG BEEMINDER IS SO GREAT. Especially for surviving down cycles in the rollercoaster that is startupland, as we can attest from dogfooding the living crap out of Beeminder. Like our one-user-visible-improvement-per-day goal, which has kept us moving inexorably forward for 629 days now.

Here are 3 things that may convince you that this may be a good idea:

  1. Katja Grace's "On the Goodness of Beeminder": http://www.overcomingbias.com/2012/08/on-the-goodness-of-beeminder.html
  2. Robert Wiblin on beeminding your way to greatness: http://robertwiblin.com/2012/04/16/beeminding-your-way-to-greatness/
  3. My own manifesto on "How to Do What You Want": http://blog.beeminder.com/akrasia and sequel on "Flexible Self-Control": http://blog.beeminder.com/flexbind

(I just pitched that to the organizers and thought I'd repeat it here to gauge interest.)

There may be some overlap with the Overcoming Procrastination session, but this could be much more general.

Comment by dreeves on Article sketch: When procrastination isn't akrasia · 2012-10-10T20:09:03.758Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Are you making fun of all us productivity porn connoisseurs? :)

Seriously though, we're pretty proud of the Beeminder blog: http://blog.beeminder.com

There's also good stuff at http://blog.idonethis.com though they actually post too frequently for my taste.

Ooh, and http://markforster.net and of course lifehacker.com has a gazillion interesting ideas.

(And, yes, self-parody that I am, I second your call for a comprehensive survey article on productivity techniques!)

Comment by dreeves on Article sketch: When procrastination isn't akrasia · 2012-10-09T03:29:29.070Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

True, but it might be worth the risk if it's the kind of project that will expand to fill whatever time you allow for it and yet it's not that important to you. In other words, it's worth the pain of the two fifteen-hour days because starting it sooner means a lot more total time spent on it.

Comment by dreeves on Article sketch: When procrastination isn't akrasia · 2012-10-08T14:57:59.768Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Ooh, not only is procrastination sometimes not akratic, it's sometimes the opposite! Namely, it can be an effective commitment device. If you want to force yourself to spend less time on a project, just start it closer to its hard deadline.

Comment by dreeves on How to measure procrastination? · 2012-02-16T19:11:30.450Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ooh, you should check out tagtime on github -- http://tagti.me -- and see if we can join forces on this. I think it's important to have Poisson-distributed sampling because otherwise you can anticipate the next ping and insert a bias into the tracking (even if you're trying to be perfectly honest -- in fact, you might try too hard and overcompensate, inserting the opposite bias). If the pings are Poisson then that's impossible.

Comment by dreeves on How to measure procrastination? · 2012-02-16T19:07:13.747Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the plug for Beeminder and TagTime! They are indeed by exactly the same people, me and Bethany Soule.

In case anyone missed our big pre-launch thing here on LessWrong: http://lesswrong.com/lw/7z1/antiakrasia_tool_like_stickkcom_for_data_nerds/

And, yes, TagTime+Beeminder is an amazing combination, IMHO. We'd love to get a friendlier version of TagTime out the door. There is an Android app that Bethany wrote that's friendlier than the desktop version, but I think there's a lot less value for it on a phone than on your main work computer.

Comment by dreeves on Breaking the chain of akrasia · 2012-01-21T00:14:57.379Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Viliam, thanks so much! What's surprising to me is that you're getting that much motivational power out of Beeminder even without pledging money to stay on your yellow brick roads. Theoretically, that's where the real motivational power comes from -- setting up a commitment device.

If you agree that hyperbolic discounting is at the heart of akrasia then you should, I believe, agree that commitment devices are fundamental to the solution. But tracking and visualizing your progress on a graph of course goes a long way by itself.

As I've argued on LessWrong before it's the combination of data visualization and commitment devices that's going to make Beeminder take over the world. I figure by solving akrasia we can easily double world GDP, for example, right? :)

[Disclosure, if it wasn't obvious: I'm part of Beeminder. Viliam's gushing, on the other hand, is thoroughly untainted -- we don't know him(?) in real life even.]

Comment by dreeves on How to Beat Procrastination · 2012-01-04T00:04:55.952Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I really like parts of this, but other parts -- like "focus on doing what you love" and "increase your expectancy of success" -- strike me as banal or vacuous. Note that I have a very biased view of this stuff, as will be clear from my recent anti-akrasia post on LessWrong: Anti-akrasia tool: like stickK.com for data nerds

So it won't be surprising that the part of this I really love, and what I think is the part that really matters, is commitment devices and setting goals that are measurable, realistic, and time-anchored (so-called SMART goals).

Btw, I would say that StickK does commitment devices better than Beeminder but everything else about goal setting and goal tracking (per the SMART criteria [2]) worse. And more and more I feel that getting the commitment contracts perfect doesn't matter. If you're the type to cheat and weasel then self-binding websites will have no appeal to you in the first place, since, as a cheating weasel, you're unbindable!

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria

Comment by dreeves on Building case-studies of akrasia · 2011-12-25T00:29:54.620Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Instance: Letting my inbox forever grow so that important items get lost in a sea.

Attempted Solutions: A ton of hacks like email snooze features and GTD-like systems. But fundamentally it's a problem of just avoiding items that are sitting on your to-do list.

Actual Solution: Beeminding my inbox!

Comment by dreeves on Money: The Unit of Caring · 2011-12-09T00:04:29.235Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Wait, we may not be on the same page here. There's nothing you can do to one person, economically or otherwise, that would be nearly as bad as a school bus full of kids driving off a cliff, right?

Comment by dreeves on Anti-akrasia tool: like stickK.com for data nerds · 2011-11-14T20:55:04.683Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Do you think this mitigates the problem at all: http://blog.beeminder.com/blogdog

In short, we (the founders) are reciprocating with our own commitment contracts, pledging $1395 to Beeminder users to force ourselves to stay on our own yellow brick roads. Maybe it's more in the category of a nice little gesture that most users won't even know about. It certainly doesn't address fundamentally the issue you raised. (Of course, that wasn't the point of it -- we just really needed to raise the stakes on our own commitment contracts since paying ourselves wasn't cutting it!)

(PS: Not bikeshedding by any means! You can't imagine how helpful all this has been. Especially the further consultation we've been having with pjeby offline, but this whole comment thread as well.)

Comment by dreeves on 2011 Less Wrong Census / Survey · 2011-11-08T02:29:36.464Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

True, I was just thinking that something that correlates (loosely) with "having made awesome stuff happen" might be better than something that correlates with "has one of multiple skills that contribute to the hypothetical ability to make awesome stuff happen".

As for whether "making awesome stuff happen" is the right underlying metric... what else?

Comment by dreeves on 2011 Less Wrong Census / Survey · 2011-11-06T19:07:46.283Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I took the survey and I agree with some other comments about the difficulty of assigning probabilities to distant events. I decided to just round to either 0 or 1% for a few things. I hope "0" won't be interpreted as literally zero.

Something bugs me about the IQ question. It's easy to call sour grapes on those complaining about that metric but it seems like such a poor proxy for what matters, namely, making awesome stuff happen. Not denying a correlation, just that I think we can do much better. Even income in dollars might be a better proxy despite the obvious problems with that.

Comment by dreeves on Anti-akrasia tool: like stickK.com for data nerds · 2011-10-28T19:33:56.000Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That's a good point and a valuable datapoint. :) It seems like a funny thing for a rationalist to care about though... (Not the donating to charity part, of course, just that it seems orthogonal -- you should should donate to charity independently of your use of commitment devices.)

I do see what you mean though. The use of self-binding is an admission of a fundamental irrationality (akrasia) so it may be valuable to have some plausible deniability.

Side note: You probably typed a "3." instead of a "1." and the markdown editor thing "fixed" it for you. That's a big pet peeve of mine about markdown, which I otherwise love. Blatant violation of the anti-magic principle.

Comment by dreeves on Anti-akrasia tool: like stickK.com for data nerds · 2011-10-19T19:09:52.894Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, I personally really love the graphs that I don't have to manually enter data for, like my weight (withings scale) or any time-based goal [http://tagti.me] or pushups (sort of, thanks to an Android app that Bethany Soule wrote [1]).

Thanks for the kind words, and be sure to upvote the API suggestion here: http://beeminder.uservoice.com/forums/3011-general/suggestions/2281597-publish-the-beeminder-api-

Oh, and note we have an SMS interface: http://blog.beeminder.com/textbot (US only, unfortunately; via Twilio)

[1] It counts pushups by touching your nose to your phone. You still have to enter on Beeminder but it's an odometer-style goal so no need to enter every day. It would actually be pretty easy to connect it to Beeminder so no data entry is needed at all, if there's demand for that...

Comment by dreeves on Anti-akrasia tool: like stickK.com for data nerds · 2011-10-17T16:20:00.891Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Just occurred to me you may have been thinking of TagTime, which is indeed open source: http://github.com/dreeves/TagTime

Comment by dreeves on Anti-akrasia tool: like stickK.com for data nerds · 2011-10-17T06:58:19.739Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Love it. Alarm set for a month (or so).

And, yes, testimonials are, well, cheap talk. But our testimonials aren't like that, baby, I swear it... http://beeminder.com/testimonials

Comment by dreeves on Anti-akrasia tool: like stickK.com for data nerds · 2011-10-14T00:34:57.348Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Wow, thanks, Alicorn! That just made my much more convoluted reply moot. :)

One more way to possibly mitigate the incentive problem:
http://beeminder.uservoice.com/forums/3011-general/suggestions/2281088-choose-your-own-incentives-have-an-option-to-pay-

Comment by dreeves on Anti-akrasia tool: like stickK.com for data nerds · 2011-10-14T00:27:24.385Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It should be, but I've never tried it with a ping gap other than 45 minutes! The way to find out is to count the actual number of pings in your tagtime log that have the relevant tags on a given day. Your beeminder datapoint for that day should be gap/3600 hours, where gap is the ping gap specified in your tagtime settings (45*60 by default).

Oh, and do a git pull if you haven't since last week or so -- at one time it was in fact hardcoded for 45 minutes.

Comment by dreeves on Anti-akrasia tool: like stickK.com for data nerds · 2011-10-13T23:10:49.571Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Here's some discussion on google plus about that:
http://plus.google.com/100518216397474461708/posts/RkWR3LauY5X

And here's what I just added to the FAQ yesterday: (Do you think it addresses it sufficiently?)

Q: You make money from people failing at their goals?

A: Yes, but we make you fail less! We force you to toe the line at least for a while so that when/if you do fall off your yellow brick road then the motivation it provided up until that point still seems worth it. Everything we've worked on in building Beeminder has been with the objective of making people succeed and we'd have to be very myopic for it to be otherwise.

It's very important to us that no one ever lose on a technicality. We want to make money by making you more awesome, and we're convinced that's what's happening. But don't take our word for it. Try it and see. The first attempt is free [http://beeminder.com/money].

Comment by dreeves on Anti-akrasia tool: like stickK.com for data nerds · 2011-10-13T21:05:32.752Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Cool, looks great so far. [http://bmndr.com/dlthomas/lunches (thanks for the permission to show that off!)] It's a nice example of building up a safety buffer by getting below (or whatever the good side is) the yellow brick road. Which, come to think of it, is the same thing that a plain old spending budget does. So this yellow brick road is just a spending budget with teeth. Once you add a commitment contract, that is.

While I'm in massive self-promotion mode here, this reminds me of my suggestion of a "golden brick road" for deciding how much to spend vs save in general: http://messymatters.com/saving (Perhaps a more general solution to what you're trying to solve with your lunch graph?)

Comment by dreeves on Anti-akrasia tool: like stickK.com for data nerds · 2011-10-13T19:18:36.518Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

PJ, you're our new best friend! Great stuff on dirtsimple.org btw.

I added homunq's idea to our feedback forum -- https://beeminder.uservoice.com/forums/3011-general/suggestions/2312939-add-a-charity-tip-percentage-to-the-amount-you-l -- but you've convinced me that, although it might be a cool feature, we needn't consider it to be on our critical path.

Thanks to both you and homunq. Contacting you offline now; very excited to talk more.

Comment by dreeves on Anti-akrasia tool: like stickK.com for data nerds · 2011-10-13T14:53:51.619Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, the tagtime integration is super sketchy. It does let you update anyone else's tagtime graph but if that happens before we get API keys worked out, it's all undoable. The master copy of your data for a tagtime graph is your tagtime log.

Definitely let us know if there's any vandalism or anything going on and we'll clamp down right away. There are just very few tagtime users so far (it being a perl script, and of course the whole concept being a little nutty, cf http://messymatters.com/tagtime ) so it hasn't been an issue. We adore beeminder/tagtime integration ourselves -- like for http://beeminder.com/d/meta -- but the tagtime part is really for hackers only right now.

Btw, we also added a 24-hour delay before charging anyone's credit card so in case someone loses for any kind of technical reason (someone screwing with your graph, beeminder bug, or even your own extenuating circumstances a la http://blog.beeminder.com/sos ) you won't lose. I guess I mentioned that in another comment. To further repeat, we'd refund a spurious charge regardless, but then we'd have to eat a small fee, so better to catch it before that.

A fundamental tenet of Beeminder is: no one ever loses money on a technicality. If you go off your yellow brick road it should be because your akrasia was more powerful than the amount of money you had at risk.

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